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Frequently Asked Questions about Valkyries.
Information gleaned from several years of experience and monitoring bulletin boards on the subject.
DISCLAIMER: there is no warranty, express or implied, that anything on this page, or a resulting link will lead you to the correct solution to your Valkyrie question. This page is merely a service provided by [Rattlebars Mfg.] to help you if you are in need of something. Sometimes, a new Valkyrie owner will ask a question that has been covered a thousand times already. However, this is the internet and like Mulder says, "The truth is out there, but trust no one!" Well, many things here will help you in your quest for information. But, these things are a compilation of information from many individuals, none of whom are infallible so none of these are gospel. Rattlebars cannot and will not be held responsible for any information or misinformation or problems you may have in using this information.

2001 Chet Walters

RP's VALKYRIE WIRING DIAGRAMS
[Click here for Carl Kulow's Maintenance Guide]
...choose your poison...
Click on subsequent chapter headings to return to its index
OIL TIRES NOISE ELECTRICS VIN
[Other Valkyrie FAQ's, links, and more]
Chet's Tire Wear Article
Generic Parts Index RPM - SPEED Ratios

INTRODUCTION:
The information provided here will assist you in learning about your Valkyrie and will answer some of the questions most often asked by new Valkyrie owners. We don't go into too great detail here since this is intended to be simple and concise. For instance, we tell you about oil, but it's up to you to learn how and when to change it. Our goal is to not confuse you, it's quite the opposite. As you know, sometimes too much information can indeed be confusing and hard to sift through. You'll find some hints and good ideas here as well some pointers to more detailed information. This is not gospel, but you can rest assured it is not lies either. Of course, there are anecdotal stories of exceptions to this information, but not enough to make any of this inaccurate for the most part. This will have few hard numbers within it. It is merely a compilation of many riders' experiences and ideas as reported by them after many thousands of miles riding many of these fine machines. Thus it represents the consensus opinions of all of these experiences with some good and tried ideas sprinkled in. This is not the opinion of the author (with a few noted exceptions), it is a summary of reports from many sources.

Of course, as you read this, be aware that there is no substitute for your own personal responsibility. If you plan to work on your Valkyrie, decide first if you're qualified. I'm not sure you'd want your bike mechanic to do your taxes for you. The other side of this coin is -- if you're an accountant, can you really work on your bike? Some things, if not done properly, can kill if they come loose on the road. But if you think you're ready then good information and proper tools are paramount. Your first investment should be the Valkyrie Service manual. The next investment should be time to read it thoroughly followed by an investment in the proper tools and the patience to learn how to use them.

USAGE: Most terms used within this document should be generally known. However, often there is confusion about the "right" and "left" on a motorcycle. These terms are relative to your left and right as you sit on the bike, the right being the side with the throttle grip and brakes and the left being the side with the clutch lever and shifter. In navigating this document, click on the links in the table above which will take you to the main chapter headers. Clicking on a main chapter header will return you to the table above. Links in the chapter headers take you to the sections within the chapter. Clicking on the section headers will return you to the chapter header. Clicking on the paragraph headers will take you to the section header. Links which will show you a picture in a viewpane are in {curley brackets}. When the picture shows, click the picture to print it if desired. Links which take you to another server for more than just a picture are in [square brackets]. Using your BACK button on your browser will return you to this page from pictures and external links.

ABOUT OIL: Rumors, Facts, and the inevitable Arguments
Using ANY non-moly motor oil within the viscosity range stated in the owners manual is satisfactory. How should you check it? Warm up the bike some, shut it off and let the oil settle for a minute or two. Unscrew the dipstick and wipe it off. Hold the bike straight up as if you were riding and simply insert the stick -- don't screw it in -- and pull it out. Readings in the cross hatched area means you're ok. Custom dipsticks can be of different lengths. Measure a custom one against the OEM one that came from Honda with your bike and adjust the reading accordingly.

RUMORS DISPELLED: Use of brands of oils other than Honda brand, so long as they are within viscosity specs, will not void your warranty. These other oils include synthetics, blends and conventional. Changing over to synth oil after the first break-in period of 600-800 miles is satisfactory. The close tolerances of this machine combined with modern alloys and machining techniques belies the rumor that one must put several thousands of miles on the motor before switching to another oil type.

FACTS: Use of synth oil will reduce the gear whine of the transmission and make shifting a little easier. It has been reported that gains in gas mileage can be experienced. For example... Other brands of automobile oil, whether synth/blend/dino and of whatever SG/SJ ratings, are satisfactory. There is no advantage in using expensive exotic snake oils in this machine. Despite claims by manufacturers and oil companies, use of motorcycle specific oil is not necessary. Use of oils containing Moly is questionable, but many have used it and Honda sells it too.

THE OTHER SIDE: Of course, the argument has been made, and it is a good one, that with the long oil change interval of 8,000 miles on this machine, a few extra bucks for the "right" oil at oil change time couldn't hurt a thing. That is logic hard to argue with convincingly even though all the above is true and proven so. Oil filters (which, by the way, can be covered by a cut and polished, or not {BEER CAN} or any regular sized pop can like JOLT! ) benefit from the same argument and they are discussed in detail at length at this link: [OIL FILTERS.] Waiting to switch to synth oil for a few thousand miles doesn't seem unreasonable either since it's really the next scheduled oil change anyway. More information on oil can be found at the following link: [MORE ON OIL]. [Oil filter cross reference part #'s can be found here]. No one has yet reported losing any kind of filter to puncture from road debris.

An article on recent developments can be found here.


ABOUT TIRES: Info - Wear - Conventional - Custom
Tires for the Valkyrie have a peppered history. The factory supplied Dunlops were the only tires available for about two years. Since then, three other manufacturers have stepped up to the plate with Bridgestone first, then Metzeler and Avon. All tires seem to fall within the "satisfactory" range with the main complaint only of low mileage expectations on some of the models and "noisiness" on others. Though these reports mostly deal with the negative aspects of the tires in question, one should not read into this that tires for the Valkyrie are horrible. Again, all tires seem to fall within the satisfactory range but each has its own personality. As the common disclaimer goes: Your Mileage May Vary.

NOTE: There are many new "old" Valkyries currently being sold. These are '98 overproduction models with zero miles. These bikes have been crated for sometime and this may cause the OEM tires on them to be out of round and cause a bumpy ride. This "bumpy tire" symptom will usually work itself out after a few thousand miles, but Honda has replaced these tires under warranty in some cases. Check with your dealer if you have this symptom. You should also watch for delamination as this and '97 is when Dunlop delamination was most reported.

GENERAL INFORMATION:
SIZE DOES MATTER: 180 or 200 mm is the WIDTH of the tire. 60 or 70 is the ASPECT RATIO of the tire. The height will be 60 or 70 percent of the width of the tire. As always, divide by 25.4 to convert to inches. Hence 180/70 = 180 times 70 percent = 126 mm height 200/60 = 200 times 60 percent = 120 mm height. If dead on accuracy of the circumference of a tire is necessary for a speedometer, always measure the tire, never depend on this formula to give exact readings for a bike tire. More info on MC tires can be found here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-tires/tire-data.htm

PRESSURE: Get your tire pressure specifications from the TIRE, not the owners manual. First, the pressure in the owners manual is for EOM tires. But, note that the specifications on the tire are for MAX pressure, adjust for taste and load. Generally, 38 front and 40 rear (plus or minus four) is about the range for tire pressure for all conventional tires. Experiment within safety ranges for your load and riding style to find what pressure will work for your application. Increasing tire pressure over the Honda recommended spec of 33psi (which is a spec designed for comfort and short tire life) will greatly improve the longevity and handling of all the conventional tires listed below. Tires perform differently on different road surfaces and under different loads. It is best to suit yourself and your style then settle upon your ideal pressure after experimenting. All tire pressure readings should be taken when the tire is cold. Add two pounds to your figures if the tire has been ridden upon for a period and is hot. While speaking of tire pressure... you should check your tire valves for cracks and wear around the rim seal. Also keep the "little plastic hickeys" in place. They serve to keep your stems from moving around and weakening the seals. Heavy custom caps should not be used on 90 stems like ours because they can stress the stems at high speeds. Never run a motorcycle (or any) tire without a cap on the valve! Make sure the cap has a gasket or o-ring sealing it to keep the air in should the valve fail and to keep corrosion out of there so the valve won't fail.

SAFETY: Tires will lose or gain up to 1 pound of pressure per ten degrees of ambient temperature change. The Valkyrie is equipped with aluminum hollow cast wheels which do indeed bleed air pressure, especially when cold. Check your tire pressure often. Under-inflated tires are a detriment to handling and will wear much more quickly. Over-inflated tires cause poor grip and harsh ride. Cold weather causes tires to grip less efficiently and, too, there may be a salt film on the road in winter and early spring. Roads are more slick when it first starts to rain because oil and debris, which were comfortably settled in the recess of the pavement, get floated to the contact surface while there has not yet been enough water to wash it away. This is especially true in regions where long dry periods are followed by spotty rain showers. Watch carefully at highway ramps that lead to major truck stops. Diesel fuel dripped from semi tanks mixed with rain water makes for a slippery cocktail on the road. Of course, there is always that nasty [BLACK ICE] (moisture on cold roads that freezes but the road looks just fine to the eye). Shiny tar, whether in patches or "road snakes" (crack sealant) can cause you grief as well as freshly sealed parking lots if hot or wet. Do we need to mention? "Road gators" (blown semi recaps), hunks of plywood (talk about slippery!), reflective road markings, manhole covers, grocery bags (paper or plastic?)... all affect traction.

PLUGS: Motorcycle tires seem prone to picking up nails and screws and all sorts of pointy objects. The rear tire is more susceptible to this hazard since rarely does a nail or screw sit upright on the road waiting to pierce your front tire. Most often, your front tire will kick up the object and send it to the rear tire in an ideal position for a puncture. Mud flaps mounted on the front fender can help to alleviate some of these hazards by deflecting the object away from the center line of the bike.

The debate has long raged about the safety of using plugs in motorcycle tires. Reports range from folks running a tire with more than one plug in it several thousand miles until replacement time to opinions that one should only run a plugged tire just far enough to get it off the roadway. Plug types range from outside inserted sticky cord or mushroom style plugs to those which require removal of the tire from the rim and internal patching. We will only offer this argument here: Plugs seem to work fine, especially the mushroom and interior patch types. But, you have only two tires under you. Is your life worth a $200 tire that may already be half worn out? You'll have to make that decision for yourself.

TIRE SEALERS: Basically, there are two types. One is that which is put in a new tire and lasts for the lifetime of that tire (Slime). The other is a sealer to be used after a puncture (such as Threebond tire inflator/sealer). The major difference is that Slime tends to make a mess of the inside of the wheel, causes temporary tire balance problems, and there are reports that it can corrode the inside of aluminum wheels (hearsay). The sealer which is used after a puncture repair enhances the seal of a plugged tire. This stuff goes in as a liquid/foam type rubberized sealer which, in short order, beads up inside the tire as light rubber balls the size of BB's. They do not make a mess...nothing for the tire changer to clean up, and do not cause corrosion. But while in it's liquid stage; it gets in and around any areas that might have a slow leak, thereby enhancing the seal of the plug. Not only are these pressurized sealers additional insurance against slow leaks, but are an easy way to re-pressurize the tire after a roadside repair.

MOUNTING & BALANCING: Do it yourself. Here's a link [http://www.clarity.net/~adam/tire-changing-doc.html]

STANDARD WEAR PATTERNS: Tires on the Valkyrie have specific wear patterns. [For a comprehensive description of typical wear patterns that can be applied to any bike tire click here].
WEAR BARS: Some of these tires come with wear bars in the tread. On the sidewall of the tire can be found arrows which point to these bars. The bars are located in the valleys of the tread pattern. Manufacturers recommend that you discard a tire when the wear bars are level with the high portions of the tread.

FRONT: The left side of the front tire will show wear before the rest of the front tire. This is from the fact that you ride on the right side of the road and that the Valkyrie tends to "plow" the front tire through turns. Upon close inspection, you will see a like wear pattern on the opposite side of the tire but it is simply less pronounced for these reasons: Riding right means that the left side of your tire will have more miles and faster miles on it than the right side. Left hand turns have a larger radius than right hand turns in right side driving countries, hence you ride farther and faster turning left than right with subsequent increased wear on the tire's left. European left side drivers find that the right side of the front tire will wear first. This is normal. [For a more detailed essay on the common wear patterns of tires on motorcycles, click here.] Low front tire pressure accelerates this wear and causes sever handling problems. Here is a good pic of {excessive front tire wear} courtesy of Vicki.

REAR: The rear tire will show a band of wear - a "flat spot" in the center - causing a ridge to form at the edge of this band. The ridge can sometimes be rough and this is often called "cupping." This band is caused by the power of the machine as well as scuffing from braking and down shifting along with drive train lash upon motor generated acceleration/deceleration at speed. This wear band has an earlier onset in areas with many concrete roads and/or "tar and chip" surfaces. The flat band on the rear tire can affect handling characteristics as well as cause vibration and noise for the rider. This wear is NOT, as has been speculated, caused by running too high an air pressure. In fact, quite the opposite is true as too low a pressure will accelerate this wear with added cupping. This does not come from too much "straight up" riding, it is just that most acceleration/deceleration and braking occurs when the bike is more or less straight up and those are the major contributors to this wear. Burnouts, of course, are self-explanatory. You can certainly guess {and see here if you click} what kind of accelerated rear tire wear will be engendered by burnouts. For a movie of Mase doing a burn out, click here. Low rear tire pressure will also cause a vibration to be felt upon hard acceleration.  For RatDog's personal experience comparison review of Avon, Metz and Dunlop, click here.

CONVENTIONAL TIRES: These are the available recommended tires for the Valkyrie.

DUNLOP: Mileage expectations range from 7,000 miles to 12,000 miles.
32KX92 D206 series Front 150/80R17 (radial) -- 32KU82 D206 series Rear 180/70R16 (radial)
These are the tires supplied by the factory (often called OEM or Original Equipment Manufacture) and hence the standard with which all the other tires are usually compared. These tires, especially after some wear, will exhibit vibration and noise levels that can be irritating. The onset of these symptoms is rather early in the life of this tire. These tires have been called "noisy" even when new with a "growling" sound in turns. Early Dunlop tires were prone to delmamination problems, where the layers of the tire would separate and cause the tire to give a "bumpy" ride. Reports of this problem have diminished greatly of late for reasons unknown. There have been no instability reports with this tire. Handling and wet road adhesion are generally rated as satisfactory.

NOTE: Dunlop in late 2001 released an "Elite" model D206 for the Valkyrie. Early reports on these new tires speak of about 20% increased mileage with these new "harder compound" tires. Handling characteristics seem to be the same as the stock D206.

   
BRIDGESTONE: Mileage expectations range from 9,000 miles to 14,000 miles.
BAX7010 701 series Front 150/80H17 (radial) -- BAX 7020 702 series Rear 180/70HS16 (radial)
This was the first company other than Dunlop to offer tires for the Valkyrie. Many have reported that these tires, when new, are less noisy than the Dunlops in turns, but whiney at freeway speeds. Mileage and wear characteristics are similar to the Dunlop tires, with a little added mileage and no delamination reports. However, there have been reports that once the ridge forms on the rear tire, Bridgestones are somewhat more noisy and irritating than the Dunlops. There have been no instability reports with this tire. Other characteristics are roughly the same as Dunlops.
   
METZELER: Mileage expectations range from 9,000 miles to 16,000 miles.
110-10423 ME880 series 150/80R17 Front (radial) -- 110-10426 ME880 series 180/70R16 Rear (radial)
These tires are touted by owners to be superior to Dunlops and Bridgstones in both comfort, handling and noise level. Mileage expectation is slightly more than those two brands. The rear Metzeler will exhibit the flat band wear later in its life and the subsequent characteristics are roughly the same in this aspect except for the later onset. Reports that these tires "grip" better than Dunlops or Bridgestones and that they are noticeably quieter have been generally voiced. Handling and comfort is somewhat improved over the other two brands. However, a sever high speed handling problem has been vociferously reported by a few owners of these tires. There have been some reports that at speeds as low as 75MPH these tires make the Valkyrie feel slightly unstable with handling being slightly affected. At higher speeds, notably above 110MPH, some have reported dangerous instability with these tires with serious steering problems. These effects are exacerbated when a large windshield is in place. These reports have diminished of late, but some are still coming in. The conclusion seems to be that these may not be the ideal tires for very aggressive riders but excellent tires for average riders. On the other hand, many others have reported none of these high speed problems and feel these tires are the best tires for the Valkyrie.

NOTE: In mid-2001 Metzeler discontinued the ME880 for the Valkyrie. Early 2002, Metzeler re-introduced these tires as Front ME880 150/80HR17 Radial and Rear ME880 180/70HR16. Early reports are good for these tires and they have not been out there long enough at this writing to make a comprehensive report. These tires fit both the Valkyrie and the VTX Retro models. The manufacture date of the "new" tires is post 24th week of 2001. This would be shown on the sidewall as 2401 (24 week 01 year). Any date after that is the "new" tire.

There have been a few recent reports of the "new" Metz tires going wobbly. If you are having trouble, please call Jeffery at Metzler/Pirelli at 706-368-5826 or email jeffrey.johnston@us.pirelli.com and let him know what problem you're having. http://www.us.metzelermoto.com/product_info/glossario/marking.html

AVON: Mileage expectations range from 12,000 miles to 20,000 miles (with more on the front).
AV-370 Venom R Series 150/80HR17 Front (radial) -- AV-371 Venom R Series 180/70HR16 Rear (radial)
AVO-131 AM23 Fat Freddie 180/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply) -- AVO-121 AM23 Fat Freddie 200/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply)
Avon tires have been touted as the best tire out there at this time. These tires, with a genesis on sport bikes, are reported to have superior handling characteristics combined with long life. Avon tires have variable density belts. "According to Avon, their radial belts are wound much denser near the middle of the tire than at its edges." [quote from Wing World - "Avon Venom R" product review by Chet Shupe]. These tires also have a different "profile" than the others. They are "nosier" meaning that the straight up contact patch is narrower, while the lean contact patch is broader which makes for some good handling characteristics. Mileage expectations are far greater, especially on the front. The rear tire will exhibit flat band wear very late in its life but without the ridge and subsequent noise, vibration and handling problems. Comfort levels are better with this tire and handling is very much enhanced over other brands. Noise is non-existent for the most part, even after wear becomes visibly evident. A few have reported slight high speed (over 110MPH) stability problems with the Avon tire exacerbated by a large windshield, but there have been no reports of problematic steering symptoms. A few have described symptoms similar to those voiced by Metzeler tire owners about high speed instability. A single message said that Avons show poor wet road adhesion and some have reported they cause a low speed wobble. These negative reports have been sparse, however.

NOTE: There have been few bad reports since mid 2001 on Avon tires. These tires seem to "run in" after a few thousand miles and are satisfactory. Any problems that were reported earlier seem related to the Interstate Valkyrie model. Recent purchasers of these tires report no problems and greatly improved handling characteristics.

   
CONTROVERSY: (One should read this footnote with the knowledge that Metzeler tires have be re-engineered and released with an "F" designation (see above). Too, there have been few reports of problems with either the new Metz and recently manufactured Avon tires). In researching for this tire report, it came to my attention that a few folks would describe Avon tires as having the same high speed problems as the few who owned misbehaving Metzeler tires. Others would report precisely the opposite as true. It got to the point where one could substitute "Avon" for "Metzeler" or "Metzeler" for "Avon" in these descriptions at will. No commonality could be found to adequately explain this, hence, the jury still seems to be out on these tires for extreme high speed riding..

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Bear in mind that this note is the experience of a single rider on a single bike and is therefore, by definition, anecdotal. The author has been through two sets of Dunlops, one set of Metzelers and is now working on a set of Avons with 11,000 miles on them (the front tire still looks new). Both the Metzeler and the Avons are superior to the Dunlops in comfort and handling with the Avons being remarkably so. My Metzeler tires, however, were very poor high speed tires exhibiting dangerous instability and steering inaccuracies at speeds over 90MPH. Even at posted speed limits, it felt as if the bike was "swimming" up the roadway like a lazy carp. My Avons are superior to Metzelers in handling characteristics. They exhibit very slight high speed instability (over 115mph) and only with a large windshield. There is no high speed steering accuracy problem. Without a windshield, they are as steady as the OEM Dunlops up to top speed (140+ mph). They are equal to or better than the Dunlops in the rain and I have ridden them in light snowfall without problem. Thus, the Avon is, and will remain, my tire of choice.

   
NON-STANDARD TIRES: Yes, that's entirely right. Some creative folks have gone another route.
Disclaimer: Do any of these modifications at your own risk !!!!!!!! Auto tires should have a "Z" rating. Large custom tires like auto tries (or if you have shorter shocks than standard) often necessitates modifying the rear fender bolts (eliminating the inner nuts and using carriage bolts in place of them) and also other modifications on all models of Valkyrie.
DUNLOP 491 Elite-II 160/80HB16 TL 407796 Rear (bias belt) -- MT90HB17 TL 410392 Front (but is rear bias belt)
The front tire is actually a rear tire mounted with tread running backwards for safety. Front currently has 11,750 miles with 8.5/32's of tread left or 7,833 miles per 32nd. Running 36psi for better handling. Two of the 16 TL rears on the rear at 41psi got over 11,500 miles with 1/32nd remaining at replacement. The bike handles "fine" with the front tire having so much tread it did take around a thousand miles or so to scrub in good. See [http://www.dunloptire.com/cycle/tires/491ii.html] for tire information.
120 Avon Front w/ Fat Freddy No number for Front (radial) -- AVO-121 AM23 Fat Freddie 200/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply)
No hard information about handling or mileage, but the smaller Avon up front and Freddie on the rear makes for a more "sport bike" look. Tires and shorter custom shocks lower the bike 1.5 inches. See the picture at [http://vrcc.cyberpunk.net/justpics/valkb1.jpg] Installation of the Fat Freddy 200 might have it rubbing on the drive shaft and needing to grind a little off for clearance. Other large custom tires like auto tries below (or if you have shorter shocks than standard) often necessitates modifying the rear fender bolts (eliminating the inner nuts and using carriage bolts in place of them) and also other modifications on all models of Valkyrie.
Metzeler 200 ME880 Rear -- ME880 200/60VR16 (radial)
Excellent tire for the fat & meaty look. Fits the VTX rear without modification. Mods may be required to mount on the Valk and VTXr models. Tire is 1/2 inch taller than stock (raises bike 1/4"). No reports of any problems and this tire will increase your ground clearance slightly. Excellent views and a review of this tire can be found at [http://www.rattlebars.com/vtx/metzeler.html]. Good match for the Metzeler front tires availble for the Valkyrie and the VTX.
Bridgestone Pole Position 205/55 - 16 AUTO REAR ONLY tire: from Dragbars Christian: running it at 25 psi gives me a contact patch of 8.3" with about 1/4" clearence on the driveshaft. The tire rides much better( IMHO )than the Dunlop, the Bridgestone or the Avon "Fat Freddie". Stopping power is greatly incresed, the tire seems to be unaffected be road surfaces ( read it doesn't track and wonder in the ruts, expansion joints or other road irregularities that would have caused a traditional motorcycle tire to "move" around ). Cornering takes a bit to get use to, there is definatlely increased effort getting the tire off center and into a lean angle but you learn the method very quickly and the feel is good, it is stable and predictable. I've run the bike to 125 mph will no ill effects and acceleration traction is greatly increased. It also looks like tire wear will outlast the best of the traditional motorcycle tires. I haven't riden it in the ran so I can't comment on that aspect. Overall impressions : I am pleasently surprised, for my specific applications I have increased my braking power, my acceration traction, my load capabilities, it rides smoother and it should last much longer than traditional tire, all at a comparable price.....$ 155 plus mounting. Would I do it again: Yes. Visit [http://www.tirerack.com/tires/bridgestone/bs_s02_pp.jsp]
Cautions: #1. I have not explored the full lean angle capabilities of this tire/Valkyrie combination yet......I suggest caution on everybodies part until you "learn" to feel it.
#2. This is a car tire put on a motorcycle, as such it has a flat contact patch as opposed to the traditional round tire. The flat contact patch will follow the road contour, sloped highways will push ( very slighly ) the tire/Valkyrie to the outside ( run off direction ). It is not a problem if your paying attention but you must use more caution if you take your eyes off the road for any reason..
P215/60R16 Goodyear Eagle GT AUTO REAR ONLY tire: from Warren in Atlanta: Works good but is an inch taller than stock which means that you need to clean out anything that protrudes from inside the fender. One of the key issues in running a tire that is this wide and comes so close to the swingarm is sidewall flex. The way to eliminate this is by using a tire that has a Z or a Y rating. These high speed tires have an extra layer of belt in the sidewall which virtually eliminates sidewall flex. My tire is 1/32 of an inch from the driveline side swingarm and it has not rubbed once...even fully loaded and draggin pegs.
{Click here for a comparison photo of Bridgestone, Avon 200 Fat Freddie and a Pole Position 205/55.}

ABOUT NOISES: My Valkyrie whines, whirrs, ticks, buzzes, clunks, pops and growls.
Bear in mind as you read this that when riding, you are sitting atop a six cylinder 100HP motor with solid lifters. Besides the typical quiet muffler system you will likely have either a fairing or large windshield that will not only create a dead air space in which you exist with the engine, it also serves to reflect the engine sound effectively doubling it to your ears. Many of the sounds you will hear are normal for the Valkyrie. It is remarkable that the engine is so quiet!

STEP #1 IF YOU HAVE A NEW AND UNUSUAL NOISE: What's the last item you bolted on? Check that first!

THAT GEAR WHINE IS NORMAL: The Valkyrie transmission is equipped with square cut gears. These gears are expected to handle quite a bit of torque and pull quite a bit of weight. Hence, they will whine considerably, especially when cruising the about 55 to 60 MPH. This is a normal sound and you highway at will hear it upon acceleration through the RPM range at various pitch. The major solution to sound is to switch to synthetic oil which reportedly reducing this reduces the whine by about 30%. Another solution is to keep your gas tank full which will add a "fluid buffer" of gasoline between your ears and this noise. That large tin tank is quite a good echo chamber when empty.

MY ENGINE WHINES TOO: Personally, I like it. Sounds like POWER! But, some don't and that's understandable. In front of the engine below the radiator is the large chrome Timing Belt Cover behind which run three pulleys, two belts and two tensioners. These items cause a whining noise. If the whine is excessive, your tensioners could be too tight. Of course, "excessive" is a subjective term. Expect some whine from this area. Some have reported that the whine can be reduced by the application of QUIET KOTE SOUND DAMPENING SPRAY from the car stereo shop or Duplicolor Rubberized Sound deadner spray at the autostore to the inner surface of the Timing Belt Cover (It is not recommended that you use what is called "DynoMat" which comes in sheets and is applied with adhesive as the mat could come loose and get tangled in the belts and pulleys). If noise really gets to you, you can also spray the inside of the alternator cover as well as Kuryakyn transmission covers. It is not recommended spray the inside of the valve covers or anywhere else that a foreign substance may cause oil or fuel contamination.

IT WHIRRS WHEN I LET OUT THE CLUTCH: In neutral... Like most motorcycles, the Valkyrie has a [constant mesh transmission]. The engine puts power to the rear wheel with three shafts -- the crank which drives half the clutch, the input shaft which is driven by the other half of the clutch, and the ouput shaft (to the drive shaft). When the clutch is "in" it is not engaged and only the crank is turning -- the input shaft of the tranny won't be doing much since the other half of the clutch is not spinning (it is a little). When you let out the clutch, the input shaft causes all the gears inside the tranny to spin (even the output gears), splashing oil and whirring around just as if you were moving, but in neutral you're not engaged to the output shaft so you don't move. You'll feel a little vibration from this. The reason it is so noticeable with the Valkyrie is because the engine itself is so exceptionally smooth. Those now whirring gears get noticed. On a typical V-twin, this activity is usually masked by an engine vibration that the Valkyrie lacks almost entirely.

WHAT'S THAT TICKING SOUND?: Twelve rockers, twelve sliders and twelve valves reside just under your nice chrome valve covers. Solid lifters could be the culprit. Be aware that you should expect some noise from this area, but if it is time to adjust your valves (inspection and service is recommended at 12,000 mile intervals) that could be the problem. But pragmatically, there are two other sources of ticking more audible hence often the sinners.

One is the PAIR VALVE, which is as the name implies, a valve that works like a car's PCV valve (we won't go into detail on this here). Two are located between the carburetor intakes (the chrome tubes atop the carbs) and near the rear of the radiator. Inside each PAIR VALVE are three reeds (metal flaps) which open and close as varied vacuum pressures are applied to them. There is a "ticking" sound, most notable at idle, that will come from these reeds as they open and close. This is normal and if that ticking sound is NOT there it means there might be a problem with the system. This item is supposed to tick. That shows it's working. Not all pair valves tick noticeably. Some are more noticeable than others. Most indeed do tick tick tick. [You can get rid of them].

The other major contributor to ticking are the EXHAUST HEADERS. On the stock exhaust, there is a weep hole that allows moisture to drain from the pipes. This will sometimes cause a ticking sound as the motor generates exhaust gas pressure. However, the Valkyrie is notorious for getting loose header nuts which will cause an exhaust gasket to leak on one or more cylinders especially if you have an aftermarket exhaust system installed. Check the torque on your header nuts regularly and carefully when the bike is cold. They take ONLY 7lb/ft of torque! Be careful! Solutions to a header nut which loosens repeatedly are numerous, but here are the most popular: BLUE Loctite applied to the threads; 1/4" star washers with the teeth facing out installed between the nut and header flange (standard lock washers are largely ineffective); wave washers installed in the same place. A radical solution is to use "real" nuts and washers. In some cases it will be necessary to replace the offending exhaust gasket as well.

To determine where your ticking sound is coming from, get a length of fuel hose about 3/8" OD. Put one end near your best ear and carefully (don't get burned) search around the engine with the other end (not while you're riding, either!). This home made stethoscope might help you find the offender.

POPS FROM EXHAUST: Your exhaust pops and may actually FLAME out the pipes upon deceleration. Pops can be caused by faulty PAIR valves, loose vacuum lines or maladjusted pilot screws. The most notorious reason for exhaust pops are loose exhaust headers and if you get pops and flames, that is almost always the cause (see above paragraph). Adjustment of the pilot screws out an extra turn may help reduce pops (see your service manual and this link for a tool to do this [http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/shims.html].

BUZZING SOUND: It's coming from behind the radiator you think. It only makes noise at certain RPMs. It might be the [notorious buzzing crossmember bolt].

IT GOES CLUNK WHEN I STOP! It sure does! The Valkyrie is equipped with "floating" calipers. The calipers are attached to the caliper brackets (these, not the calipers, are bolted to the forks) by a set of rubber booted pins set in holes. The holes are larger than the pins so there is some free play there. When you back your bike up to turn it around and apply the brake in reverse, the calipers will move to the rearmost position. When you apply the brake at the next forward stop the calipers move to the forward most position and the pins strike the other sides of the holes.. CLUNK! You can see the calipers move if you apply the brake and rock the bike forward and back. When you stop at a red light, the calipers will move to the forward most position then when the bike "rocks back" after being stopped... CLUNK!

TIRE GROWL: This is discussed above in About Tires and is often described as a growl. But if you would like to reduce this growl, you can apply regular ol' automobile undercoating to the inside of the big tin echo chamber fenders. This is available in spray cans at any discount auto store. Remove the fenders, mask and spray underneath. Let dry. Repeat. Doing this will also help prevent "zits" from stones hitting the inside of the fender causing raised pimples on the outside which sometimes serve to cause spider web cracks in your nice custom paint.


ABOUT THE VIN: Your Vehicle Identification Number.
RP Brown has done a very good article on your VIN and what secrets are hidden in the numbers on your VIN sticker. Check out his excellent work and add your information to the database. Click =>[Valkyrie Genealogy]. It will open in a new window if your browser is capable.


VALKYRIE ELECTRICS: Battery, Alternator, Lights, Horns, Accessories

Standard/Tourer schematic Interstate schematic
Honda signal/running/brake Chet's Circuits
Standard/Tourer Fuse Block Interstate Fuse Block

BATTERY: - Is it dead? - Trickle Chargers
Your OEM battery is a YXT14-BS maintenance free sealed unit that at full charge puts out 13+V and has a capacity of 12V - @ 12 Volt/AMP hours. It lasts typically about 2-4 years but your mileage will vary (I had a lawn mower battery about the same size that lasted NINE (9) winters without me ever putting a charger on it). Slow charging a dead battery with 1.5A for 5-10 hours is better than the fast charge of 6A for one (1) hour, but both will get your bike running (disconnect the cables when charging). You should check your battery terminals for corrosion and tightness often. The battery is a sealed unit, but you can add distilled water to it by prying up the cap strip (usual cautions about acid and fumes). Leaving the battery discharged for a long period will cause sulfates to form and the battery to lose efficiency. Overcharging will do likewise and both will shorten its life. If storing for long periods, keep the temperature above freezing and slow charge only if the voltage drops. The OEM battery is un-vented so if you replace it with an aftermarket unit that is vented, you'll have to figure a way to route the vent hose so it won't damage anything if it drains. Here's a link that gives good info about NEW batteries - [http://www.yuasabatteries.com/ms_chrgnew.htm].

YOUR VALKYRIE WILL CHARGE YOUR BATTERY: If you have left your key (or your glove heater) on and run down a known GOOD battery, bump or jump start your Valkyrie and ride for about 20 miles at cruising speed. A good battery will be just fine for re-starting the bike and will be nearly charged (you have an honest to goodness alternator). After full day you'll have a full charge, but you should that night check it with a voltmeter and if below 13V slow charge it with a conventional battery charger. If the battery is still weak...

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A NEW BATTERY? Well, it's dead and won't accept even a slow charge (voltmeter read is below 13V after a charge). It's dead but you manage to get the bike running and after a good ride it's still dead (see above paragraph). It repeatedly (especially when warm) exhibits the following: You try to start your bike and the motor cranks but will not fire up until you release the starter button. The starter is very efficient and spins just fine with a weak battery but the starter motor steals enough voltage from the coils so that you'll get no spark while it spins. When you release the button, the engine "coasts" that one last revolution without the starter so the coils can fire once and the bike starts (which says something about this fine machine). Other symptoms of a weak battery include flickering lights at idle, your custom horn beeps funny when the bike's not running, a voltmeter indicates a drop to below 11.5V when starting, your cappuccino is always cold...

Check also for corrosion on the starter connections carefully hidden but easy got at under the cover on the r/h side of the bike. You may find if you pull the connecters off the relay some white gunk all over the pins A quick clean with some WD40/RP7 and a generous helping of bulb grease ( silicon ) to keep out any new moisture and the bikes on its way.

TRICKLE CHARGER CONTROVERSY: Slow trickle charge units which are hooked up all the time to keep your "parked" battery at full charge can save you a jump start after some long down time. But, overcharging hurts as much as undercharging and if you ride occasionally, your bike will charge the battery. If you use a trickle charger for extended storage periods, make sure the unit is definitely a set that shuts itself off when the battery reaches full voltage. Many folks love these items for extended winter down time maintenance. But, many others have said that constant use of one of these units will reduce your battery's life by about 30%. My original battery was just fine until I started using one of these guaranteed to shut off units the second year. It lasted only another two months. Coincidence? Could be. But I also rode the bike on occasion during that time and it may just be my own fault for overcharging the battery.

ALTERNATOR: OUTPUT: 546 WATTS & 14.2 VOLTS @ 3500 RPM
The Valkyrie is equipped with an honest to goodness alternator located under the plastic chrome cover (which says "HONDA") on the left side below the petcock. Born of the notoriously over lighted and accessorized Gold Wing and driven by a gear directly off the crankshaft, it has an output of 546 Watts and 14.2 volts at 3500rpm. Unlike many motorcycles, once started your bike will run off the alternator alone without the battery in the circuit, but it's not a good idea to do so as the voltage drops at idle. This alternator is a strong beast (like the Valkyrie) so turning on your high wattage headlight, running lights, spotlights, custom lights, radio, CB, heated clothing and your cappuccino machine will probably do nothing more than make it proud of itself.

The alternator will whine a little but if it "squeals" then its bearings might be going bad. If it "clacks" then the brushes can be worn. Have your dealer check it with a stethoscope and test output for the condition of the stator and brushes. This is a rebuildable item and frequent inspection can save you a $600 replacement fee. If you've deadened the sound by spraying Quiet Kote or Duplicolor Rubberized Sound deadner spray under the cover, every now and then listen closely because your alternator could be telling you something.

For the curious, here's what I run off the stock alternator:
100/90 headlamp
twin 35 watt spots
twin 55 watt Lazer Stars
two 1157's up front (TS & running)
two 1157's on rear (ditto)
two 1156 for custom under lights
two 192's in the instruments
EIGHTEEN 192's for lighting the engine
FOUR 4" strobe lights
one NEON under the swing arm
one 1157 tail light (run and stop)
one (forget the number, but it's a high watt courtesy light from a car) to light the license plate
another one of those as a second brake light
one 4" Signal Dynamics LED for another extra brake light
two 192's to light the side of the tail light under the Highway Hawk cover
one 192 under the bar clamp to light the clock
SIX license plate bullets in various places
Heated gloves
Heated Jacket liner
Heated socks

GOLD WING ALTERNATOR ALTERNATIVE:
Save some money by getting a Gold Wing alternator to fit your Valkyrie! Part # is 31100-MT2-015 for '97 Goldwing Aspencade. The only difference is the terminal & plastic insulator are different where you connect the alternator battery wire. You have to take off the capacitor that is mounted on the Gold Wing alternator and rotate the front housing to match the holes from the Valkyrie model so that it will fit.

MORE: One can get a rebuild here with an up front core charge.  http://mysite.verizon.net/resp3jbj/

Any of these Goldwing alternators will work. HDL gets about $220 for one. All you have to do is remove the external capacitor and rotate 1/2 of the housing to match your housing.

Goldwing Alternator - 31100-MT2-015 (was 31100-MZ0-005)
'88 - '90 - GL1500
'97 - Aspencade
'91 - '00 - Aspencade 1500A
'91 - '96 - Interstate 1500I
'90 - '00 - SE 1500SE

 

INTERSTATE AUX INPUT:: 1/8" jack under right side cover.
The I/S has a 1/8" jack behind your right side cover that will accommodate a standard 1/8 "headphone" plug (click here for pic). This is your "aux" input to the I/S stereo. and is the same type of mini jack already supported by your mp3 or iPod for the headphones. You will need a cable with 1/8" males on both ends to hook up. Radio Shack or Target has them for about six bucks.

LIGHTS: - Headlamps, Extra Head, Tail/Brake, Signals, Extra Running, Decorative
There are two kinds of visibility in common use of the language which are important in motorcycle riding. The first is the one that is passive for you but active for others and this enhances OTHER DRIVERS' ABILITY TO SEE YOU. This is known as conspicuity but we will call VISIBILITY here for easy reading. VISIBILITY is dealt with in the sections on brake/tail, signals and running lights as well as headlights. The second common usage is active for you and passive for them and that's the visibility which enhances YOUR ABILITY TO SEE OTHERS and things. That's known as conspicuity but here we will call it visual acuity, or just ACUITY for short. ACUITY is dealt with exclusively in the sections on headlights for obvious reasons.

A SAFETY TIP: One should always carry on the bike, at least one replacement bulb for the important lights. For the Valkyrie, that would be an H4 for the headlight, an 1157 for the front turn signals or brake light and one 1156 for the rear signals. These should be wrapped in a cushioning material to prevent vibration damage and sealed to keep them clean. Included in this package should be several fuses of each type used in your fuse block (a mix of mini fuses in various amps from 5 to 30 wouldn't hurt). Include the tools to change any of these if need be. A good place to store this electrical first aid kit is in the slot where your owner's manual lives along with your important documents like your registration.

HEADLIGHTS: Valkyrie headlight bulbs are H4 dual filament Halogen and require special handling (see note). The Interstate model runs two lamps of the wattage 45/45 and owners claim it is one of the better systems on the road for a motorcycle providing adequate acuity for the rider and visibility for the bike. The Standard/Tourer model, even though it sports a big ten inch headlight, is OEM equipped with a single H4 Halogen bulb putting out 60 watts high beam and 55 watts low (designated properly with 60/55 as HI/LO wattage). Many claim that this is inadequate and despite its large size (which does offer fair visibility), the Valkyrie headlamp is not the brightest light on the pike for acuity. Many states, with typical lack of consideration for motorcycles, have laws which prohibit the use of bulbs putting out more than this maximum wattage in a single lamp mounted on the front of a vehicle. The state of Ohio further goes on to be completely ridiculous in that it also prohibits the use of more than two lamps at the front of a motorcycle period (we get it from both ends) though this is not often enforced. The solution to this dilemma is to purchase an "off road" H4 bulb and subsequently spend the rest of your time riding your Valkyrie off road (which is what you will probably do eventually if you DON'T upgrade the inadequate headlamp).

HIGH WATTAGE HEADLAMPS: The stock Standard wiring will support (for "off road use only" of course) an H4 with the wattage of 100/90 without the need for any wiring overhaul so it's just a matter of replacing the bulb (see here for Standard). To get both your acuity and visibility up to par, these bulbs can be obtained for about $12 at any motorcycle shop which also deals in off road vehicles (quads or dirt bikes). NAPA auto stores sell another version H4 which is 100/60 and there are 90/55's (and other wattages) available that will almost comply, at least on low beam, with most state laws (check yours). Beyond the lack of improvement in low beam acuity however, use of bulbs with such wide disparity between high and low wattages will have "older" eyes failing to adjust quickly enough when one switches from high to low beam which will further hamper low beam acuity momentarily. Should you swap out your dim bulb for an H4 of higher than 100/90 wattage (120/100 or more) it may be necessary to add additional wiring with a relay to power it [see MarkT's method] or risk burning your wires and switches (see note). You also risk fogging your inner reflecting surface, but these bulbs have been run for long periods (many thousands of miles) by folks without harm to the big ten inch. There are other risks involved in having too much light output in front of your vehicle and these will be discussed in the EXTRA HEAD LIGHT section.

For the Interstate model, you can use H-4 bulbs by visiting this site and getting an adapter. [http://www.electricalconnection.com/non-electrical/h4_shim.htm]

ALTERNATIVE HEADLAMPS: There are manufacturers who make replacements for the 60/55 H4 who claim to give you more light with the same 60/55 wattage. These are called "super blue" or "super white" or "xenon" some such designation as that (we won't get into brand names). Some claim these actually work, others claim they don't and some respected independent testing has shown that the numbers don't add up. Beware of these lights and buy quality. One thing you can be sure of, if you buy an added wattage "off road" bulb as described above, you will get more light guaranteed (but don't forget to do the rest of your riding off road ;-). Something that has become popular for increased visibility and works is the [Rainbow Strobe] which is a cage that surrounds the H4 bulb and gives the multi-faceted reflector in your big ten inch (and presumably the Interstate twin system) a colorful look {pic of the result}. These simply and easily slip over the bulb but typically reduce your acuity by about 10% so upgrading to a higher wattage bulb is almost necessary if you want to run this item (off road, of course).

HEADLAMP MODULATORS: These items hook into your lighting system to pulse your headlamp in the daytime to make you more noticeable to other drivers. They pulse your high beam with the same frequency as the lights on the front of rail locomotives. Federal law [Federal Standard 49 CFR Part 571.108 5.5.10(c)] permits use of these modulators but many states prohibit them under their "impersonating an emergency vehicle" statutes which may have you trying to convince an officer or judge that federal law indeed supercedes state and local laws. Opinions on these items range from raves (users have reported that drivers will often "pull over to the side of the road to let me pass them by as if I were a police car.") to nays (one comment of note is "if I have something on my bike which makes cage drivers act in anything other than the normal fashion, I will remove it from my bike immediately!") Information may be found at these links [KISAN TECH] [KRISS INDUSTRIES].

CLEANING: Your lens is plastic. Don't use abrasive cleaners on it (or the stiff paper towels at typical gas stop cleaning stations either). Waxing with a good non-abrasive wax will keep bugs from being cooked on there and reducing your acuity. This wax will burn away readily so clean and wax often.

NOTE: The addition of very high wattage bulbs can cause your starter button to fry. Because your starter button turns off the headlight when pushed it, it supplies current to your headlamp through contacts that are subject to wear and corrosion. See [http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/starter.html] for details. The high/low switch on the Valkyrie is a fairly hearty "make before break" type toggle switch. This means that it will power the unlit filament of the bulb before it kills the one currently burning. You can, by judiciously placing the switch "between" high and low, cause both filaments of your headlight to glow which may shorten the life of the bulb if used for long periods or explode it leaving you in complete darkness at 70 MPH! There are three reasons for make before break: One is that this serves to reduce arcing at the switch terminals and lengthens the life of the switch itself. Second comes the need for there to be no interruption of light (acuity). Since Halogen bulb filaments take some time to warm up and produce light, killing the excited filament without first giving the unstimulated one opportunity to start its work will reward you with disconcerting momentary darkness. Third is the fact that Halogen bulbs rely very heavily on the heat produced within the space of the bulb for operation. The filaments of Halogen bulbs actually "destroy" and "rebuild" themselves continually. A heated filament (3,000C) gives off tungsten atoms which drift to the outer and cooler (800C) regions inside the bulb. Once cooled there, they combine with halogen gas then migrate back to the heated filament to be reabsorbed resuming their existence as part of the filament itself. This is in endless loop while the filament is excited and why Halogen bulbs are notoriously hot burners. The glass of Halogen bulbs must be kept meticulously clean and dry at all times. Don't touch the glass of a hot one for obvious reasons. Touching the glass of a cold one will leave oils from your fingers on the glass and cause uneven heating which may explode the bulb (leaving you in complete darkness at 70 MPH!). When handling Halogens never touch the glass, use the base. A good regimen is to clean the glass with rubbing alcohol and not touch it afterwards PERIOD.

EXTRA HEADLIGHTS: There are a number of ways to add supplementary headlights to the Valkyrie. However, there are some disadvantages to having too much light up front. The first, of course, is that you risk blinding opposing traffic. There is indeed a need to add extra visibility to get noticed on the road. But you can also cause other drivers to be blinded by your lights and that's just as bad as not being seen. If you have supplementary lights up front and drivers often blink their lights at you, then maybe you have too much or it is improperly aimed. Another often neglected problem is reflection. If you put out too much light up there, road signs, road markings and reflectors may feed too much light back at you causing too much contrast. High contrast between these reflective surfaces and the non-reflective things that you need to see might make the real hazards dangerously dim to your eyes. This indeed could be worse than having not enough light up there to begin with and is especially true with "older" eyes. If you find that you are having trouble with these surfaces reflecting your supplementary lighting, then you may want to make some adjustments.

DRIVING LIGHTS: These are sometimes called passing lights (not fog lights nor running lights) and the most common way to add these to the Standard is with a light bar which places two lamps, one on each side of the big ten inch, which supplement both your visibility and your visual acuity. Several companies make these [COBRA] [RIVCO] [NATIONAL] [JC WHITNEY] and there are some home made items that are inexpensive and workable. Other ways to add up front lighting are with lights mounted under the lower triple clamp [UNDERWHERE™] [WAYNES WORLD] and mounted on the forks [LAZER STAR] [MOTOLIGHT]. For the Interstate, Honda offers a set of custom lights (from your dealer) that mount in the pods. There are two kinds of lamps - spot and flood - for these and you may want to consider which type you should use. Floods have a wide and tall pattern and will often not reach too far out along the road to help you see distant dangers. Floods also have the tendency to cause the reflective surfaces already discussed to give you feedback close up while leaving far away things nearly invisible due to the high contrast. Another consideration is your focus of attention. If running flood lights with not much reach, you may be unconsciously distracted by the road surface and objects that are close to you which will have you neglecting to look forward as is important when riding a motorcycle. If you go with flood lamps, it is a good idea to stay with low wattages (35 watts) for the reflective reason and to also avoid blinding other drivers. For higher wattages (50 or more), you may want to consider using spots. Spots throw light out in a narrow beam that stays within the perimeter of the road and reduces the reflection/blinding problems while lighting up the roadway ahead giving you ample time to avoid hazards that may present themselves there (deer, for instance). Your headlight will often give you enough light close by to enable you to see adequately close up things and the spots will help you with the distance. Ways of hooking up supplemental lights without taxing your wiring system and to work with your high beam switch can be found at [http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/foglites.html]. Note the use of a relay at that link.

FOG LIGHTS: Fog lights are a different animal from driving/passing lights. They are typically mounted low and have a wide beam horizontally and narrow vertically (wide and low). The idea of these lights _IS_ to light up the roadway nearby and emphasize the road markings up close since high speed riding in the fog is a definite no no. Honda offers a set of custom lights (from your dealer) for the Valkyrie Interstate that mount in the pods and reportedly work very well. Fork mounted lights such as [WAYNES WORLD], [MOTOLIGHT] or even the correct lights mounted on [UNDERWHERE™] can be low enough, but you will want to use a lamp with a low wide beam in this case. Fog lights are normally run in conjunction with your LOW beam so note the importance of installing the three way switch described at [http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/foglites.html] which allows you to use your extra headlights for two purposes with both the high or low beam. Note the use of a relay at that link, as well.

INTERSTATE RELAY WIRING:
These relays are sometimes hard to come by. One can replace these relays with the standard duty relay found at any auto store. Cut the original wires from the plug and use spade connectors (on can also get a permanent plug for a five pin relay by STANDARD Automotive and comes with 5 lead wires already installed according to Pegasus. Here's the wire layout:

I/S LO BEAM RELAY
WIRE TERMINAL
GREEN 85
WHITE/BLUE 30/51
WHITE 86
WHITE/BLACK 87
I/S HI BEAM RELAY
WIRE TERMINAL
GREEN 85
WHITE/BLUE 30/51
BLUE 86
BLUE/BLACK 87
I/S FOG LAMP RELAY
WIRE TERMINAL
GREEN 85
RED/WHITE 30/51
RED/YELLOW 86
BLUE/WHITE 87

TAIL/BRAKE LIGHTS: The Interstate four lamp system, with two smaller single filament inner wedge lamps and two 3157 wedge type dual filament outers, seems adequate by most estimates. These lights can be enhanced using the methods detailed by [MarkT] or [Chet].

The Valkyrie Standard/Tourers, however, sport the same 1157 bulb type single tail/brake light as the Shadow. It seems adequate for cruising, but for touring on the highway there have been legitimate complaints of a lack of visibility. You can swap out a standard 1157 bulb for an H1157 {PIC} without any problems, but most have found that the Halogen bulb, because of the slow "warm up time" already discussed as well as the small eye apparent difference in the two filaments' wattages, offers not enough contrast between tail and stop lights. If having too dim a tail light is a problem, having a too dim in relation brake light is worse. Others have tried adding the new LED replacement 1157 bulbs {PIC} with little success. Because LED's are intended to be used in assemblies specifically designed for LED light sources (the LED's are very close to the lens and fill it entirely in these specially constructed housings), simply swapping out an LED bulb in an assembly designed for a true 1157 bulb will not work well since it does not project light to excite the refractors in the lens nor the reflector of the backing plate. If you want an example of how they perform in all instances, look [here]. In case that link is dead now, {click here for a performance comparison pic of 1157 VS LED brake light}. Newer lights have hit the market lately, but no actual reports have come in yet. See RADIANTZ for Valk (Shadow) or VTX. Dressings for these tail light lenses {PIC} can be found at [CROSSROADS]. NOTE: Getting "regular" 1157 replacement bulbs at the discount auto store seems a fine investment, but the OEM Honda lamps have a support stalk in the center of the filament which adds to the stability of the filament [click here to see one]. Whether this makes them last longer is a matter of conjecture. Another alternative for brighter brake/signal lights is Sylvania 2397 bulbs from Auto Zone. These are about 20% brighter than regular 1157's and are under a buck each! Thanks RP!

SUPPLEMENTAL TAIL/BRAKE LIGHTS:

 

This is a work in progress

Questions? Contact Chet at Chet says 'Be sure to write!'Chetspages@rattlebars.com